FM Acoustics, who knows this company?

I heard good things about their amps,preamps and phono stages but never had a chance to audition them.Anyone with the experience?
I do, but this company is non existent in the U.S. (try to find a place to demo it, good luck).
I've owned the product and visited the factory (Horgen, Switzerland).
They told me (in May 1998) that their customers [and potential customers]
are not on the NET, but I see that they now have a website (if their customers
are not on the NET than I do not know who the website is for....).
Very good product from a nice company but their odd and overly cautious
view on marketing has kept them out of the U.S. for years (yes, they do
have a distributor here, but what for I can not figure out).
You'll find a lot of information at
Here in Switzerland the general opinion amongst the cognoscienti is, that they are madly overpriced for what they have to offer. This also goes for their repairs out of guarantee. HP of TAS liked their preamps and TAS carried their advertising for a while about ten and more years ago. You don't find them in the shops here in the country, there is no advertising and they hardly appear in the used lists. Dealers scoff at them, but that of course means nothing much. Personally I've owed some of their early amps, the 600 and the 800, which were typically SS in their sound, somewhat grainy and generally a disapointment. But that was in the seventies. Since then, they must have taken a great step forward, but nobody can tell you here, what they are really like. Gossip has it, that they go all into export, since here in the country there is no market for them because of their prices. Our own Gregm here at Audiogon has listened to them somewhere in Europe and was very much impressed and he's a golden eared one. Why don't you get in touch with him and tell him that " Detlof sent you".
Probably the best there is but at what price? And these guys do not believe in dealers and when they do appoint one, it's like take it or get lost. The arrogance level matches or exceeds their price and about the same nonsensical behaviour as that of Mark Levinson and Keith Johnson of Spectral. In fact Keith Johnson thinks his products are like Stradivari violins. Well, I guess then his products must increase in value as it ages. FM supposed to be strong in the recording world.

I have tried their 266 and 611 and it blew me away. Simple design and carry friendly and boy the sound is amazing. Mind you, this combo was about 8 years old. No need for tweaks etc, it is that good. At par with the Burmester 808 Mk V preamp and the 266 is a single chasis.

The 611 is as good as the Joule Rites of Passage which is Harry Pearson's favourite. In fact the 611 had the oomph factor simply because of its 450w power.

I would buy it if the incremental cost is not a factor for the miniscule enhancement in the sound but only when it is available as a 2nd hand peice. Would not pay brand new prices even if I receive dealer price.
Its not Keith Johnson, Hafeez, its Rick Fryer, who is the "impossible one" chez Spectral, but otherwise I liked your piece. Cheers,
Thanks for the correction.

Actually, I remember back in 94 calling Spectral and speaking to a Keith Johnson but Rick Fryer does not come to my mind. Anyways, I got a mouthful whoever he was and all that Stradivari stuff and I said ,well a Stradi does not depreciate and almost every other electronic items does and the phone went dead. So that was my first and last experience with the Spectral crowd.

The other character who has his ego stick out like Mt Everest is Mark Levinson. Phew! This guy is the limit.

Then u take someone like Jud Barber of Joule Electra who is HP's favourite amp today and he is the sweetest guy you can imagine. An absolute gentleman, humble and actually blushes when you praise him. This man oozes with knowledge and it is a real pleasure to speak with him.

I also spoke with Manual Huber of FM Acoustics back in 90 & 91 and he sounded quite refined and impressed me with his passion for audio. Today, he is hardly involved. At least that is the impression.

Another creative genius is Dieter Burmester of Burmester Audiosysteme. And he too is a gentleman, scientist and artist. An amazing designer and one that makes high end such a valued hobby. Again, he too is humble, simple and meticulous. His face shines like a schoolboy when you ask him to explain about his design philosophy and he has the magic touch of emersing his listener into his holistic world of musical truth. No wonder, he is a legend.
Check out their for some
infor from their dealer, etc as their webpage is under
I listened to some of this newer FM Acoustics units. A few things should be said to this company, from my point of view of course.
They export the most of their line, it is extremely expensive, like Goldmund, they are in a market, where lots of customeres don't care about the price. They want to have it.
I listend to their premium Pre amps, the FM 222 phono unit, the smaller phono unit FM 122 ( ? hope it is right ) and one of their big block amps via a ESL 63.
It was very, very good, specially the amp impressed me most. A powerhouse par excellence.
The pre amp is like other good preamps.
The FM 222 is a rare unit, because you can select the RIAA for old recordings ( FM 122 , too ).Price is ...well ....
There is a difference when you switch to RIAA when using a old record, believe me.The musical quality from the phono amps is good to excellent, but I know a owner who sold the FM 122 when he listened to a Klyne 7 PX. He said, the Klyne was so natural, he sold the FM unit and never regret it.
Overall I would say, I would rate their units above most other SS manufacturers. I like them much more than Mark Levinson, Spectral, Krell or Burmester.
But musical taste will make the last step of course.
But when you can not listen to it, and will find a second hand unit, think about buying it. There is much worse out there, really.
Thanks for the kind words, Detlof. Inna: I have listened to FMA on a few occasions, lately (~1yr ago?) playing in a Genesis speakers/SYorke TT/Symphonic Line Reference cdp, system. The sound was more impressively clear and very fast. I mean to stress VERY fast & VERY clear.
There was some small graininess in the beginning that we licked completely through trial & error with cables -- only having three choices (bearlabs, their own, valhalla IC/spm speaker) we settled for their own and bearlabs.
The TT sound was subjectively better than the cdp (the medium & my cdp vs. the Simon Yorke). General impression was of a room full of sounds coming from all points before us -- except the speakers per se!
If I remember the models correctly, it was a 266 pre (there was also another phono pre) and a 611(610?) power amp. Interesting point: the pre's output is huge. Could the pre "accept" the input impedance of a speaker, one could, theoretically, drive the speaker directly at low volume...

BTW, the owner of these nice units quoted a nice price too: in the range of $60-70k? for both pre & power!!!
I visited FM in Feb this year and had a good look at some new things that Manual has that are totally unique to the world.His quality control is amazing and the work area is cleaner than the operating room of most hospitals.He has an enormous passion for vinyl and is amoung the leaders in pushing the art for this playback.This is a world class company with world class sound.
It is a Swiss precision tools they produce...I had the 222 unit and it is a "pro" model for accuracy, not really an "audiophile" toy. Very hard on the associated equipment.